DATABASE
An interactive user-fed digital platform dedicated to the archiving and exchange of information
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Target groups

Change makers, Public figures and influencers, and Public sector officials

Observation

Knowledge and imagination are our most valuable resources as a species. With those, we create visions of what better environments, societies and economies should be like.

Where the issues are indefinite and general, such as pollution, disease, and unjust distribution of resources, the solution lies with innovation, a creative process, which naturally follows as a result of an exchange of information and (whether direct or indirect) collaboration.

Conclusion

We possess a wealth of knowledge and imagination, not only unique to each of us at an individual level, but also at the level of institutions of all sectors and capacities. It is envisioned that a streamlined exchange of these resources would catapult the evolution of societies, on personal, national and international scales.

Solution

The proposal is a user-fed digital platform, dedicated to the archiving and exchange of multimedia information. Amongst the beneficiaries of the multi-interface database are individuals, research & academic institutions, municipalities, museums, and hospitals. The platform does not only archive the uploaded information, but also links data to it to its sources, makes it accessible to other users, and facilitates live audio-visual communication between users through a user-specific interface.

Key Problem

Outside the world of institutionalised academia, the internet has triggered a breakthrough in the distribution of information around the world. This exchange channel however has a few evident points of weakness: sourcing and credibility of sources, unavailability of a broad realm of data yet to be digitised and shared, region or cost-related data-exchange limitations, and either an underuse or a complete neglect of interactive streaming technologies amongst skilled professionals or institutions.

Which field and which area?

The proposed database and communications platform prescribles and enables a cross-disciplinary and inter-regional approach, as this would lead to an even access to the collective informational capital, thus creating a digital environment from which synergies, solutions to an expansive range of problems, and innovations can emerge.

Effects of the problem

Without systematic archiving, cultural heritage becomes our most vulnerable asset within today's rapidly changing world. Whether it be tangible such as built heritage, or intangible such a regional traditional recipes, there lies a value in preserving those for the knowledge or achievement they have or still embody for current and future generations. Moreover, a digital database with broad reach naturally allows for less use of printed material, and an effective streaming feature among accounts yearning for that possibility (e.g. live lecture streaming to a selected off-campus audience) may in some cases eliminate the environmental and time costs of travel.

In addition, knowledge disparity left unaddressed, would widen the gap between those with privileged access to information (e.g. matriculated students) and those without it. That would not only hinder collective growth, but also create an increasing intersocietal tension on account of disparity in resources and opportunities.

Solution

Region-based archiving of traditional or native recipes could be made possible via users and archived within the digital platform. This would allow the preservation of culinary traditions for future generations, which usually hold high cultural and dietary values, thus protecting these traditions from loss, which can already be perceived comparing the knowledge of older generations versus that of younger age groups in the Arab World.

Additional Slide - 1

Documentation and archiving of built heritage is made possible through multi-media uploads, which in addition to standard audio-visual information, can include virtual tours of key sites, opening up a realm of information for easy access and study across academic institutions where site visits are not feasible. This would also digitally-preserve built heritage which is at a constant threat of loss or deterioration, thus storing information which would facilitate possible future restoration.

Additional Slide - 2

University lectures across institutions could be facilitated using a user-specific interface, where students from different countries can remotely attend lectures at participating sister universities. It is predicted that a streamlined exchange of expertise in the Arabian academic world would not only help invigorate the resources of institutions in underprivileged regions, but also create wonderful synergies amongst the student and teaching bodies bridging currently disconnected institutions.

Additional Slide - 3

Knowing that each medical facility possess varying expertise, case histories, and knowledge depth in different specialisations, the availability of a user-tailored pan-Arabian digital platform could prove invaluable when it comes to sharing life-saving knowledge across institutions, replacing the necessity for physical presence when that is not feasible. Hospitals could easily exchange medical cases, or provide remote surgical supervision where required through a function-specific interface.